We’re All Mad Here

Aloha! Nathan and I don’t really do Valentines as such so when he said he had a surprise for me around Valentines Day I went into panic mode. I bought him a funny card and a bottle of aftershave as a fall back just in case we were turning into one of those couples that do. There’s no right or wrong with these types of things, it’s just personal preference I guess.

Rest assured, we are still a couple that don’t really ‘do’ valentines day, however we did do funny cards! I gave him his aftershave and he really appreciated it.

Anyway, back to the reason I’m here. I knew nothing. All I was told was to be ready 3pm sharp on Saturday. To do what? I didn’t know. I literally had no idea what I was supposed to be ready for. What type of occasion, do I dress up? Dress down? Heels or flats? I am not good with surprises, I like to know and be organised. So after threating most of last week, I ended up with a new dress just in case.

Fast forward to 3pm on Saturday I was sat on the sofa in jeans and a jumper and I finally knew what we were doing! We were off to good ole’ Liverpool. We headed to Hatters Hostel for the evening. If you don’t know much about them, they have are affordable accommodation and there are 3 across the country, Liverpool, Manchester and Birmingham. Although they aren’t Alice in Wonderland themed, the top hats make me think of the mad hatter.

We had a lovely evening wandering around Liverpool before heading for some JD chicken wings and cocktails from TGI Fridays and hitting the hey. Sunday we indulged in a ‘Spoons breakfast and did a little shopping, well window shopping because something that we can’t seem to part with lately is money. Hence the budget accommodation, although I don’t think I’d feel comfortable in some posh swanky hotel, I’m not that type of gal.

Until next time…

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Christmas Markets – When and Where? 

facetune-4img_5429-1img_5428-1img_6875One thing that makes me feel all warm and festive inside is definitely Christmas markets. So I thought I’d share some local markets with you. Nathan and I have been off work over the past week, so we have visited a couple ourselves. We love a good adventure when we have the time.

So when and where? Most Christmas markets are now open, or just opening and are usually open right up until the week before Christmas.

One we have visited this week is Chester Christmas markets, which are our nearest festive markets. They opened up on Thursday 16th November, and we visited on Friday whilst on a little shopping trip with Nathan’s Mum. They are based smack bang in the heart of Chester on the Town Hall Square, near the Forum Shopping Centre and the Cathedral.

They will be around until the 20th December, with around 50-75 stalls (this is just my guestimate guys, I definitely did not go around counting the stalls). They are all filled with crafts and tonnes of delicious treats to pick up along the way!

As well as Chester, Manchester Christmas Markets are also open now. They were one of the earliest to open their doors this year, on the 10th November and are there right up until December the 21st. The main market is based in Albert Square, and we walked there from the Arndale Centre. It wasn’t too far, maybe about at 15-20 minute walk.

However, along with the main market hub there are other smaller sections dotted around the city centre – we visited a few, but not all. My favourite part is the ice rink based in Cathedral Gardens, which is only a stone throw away from the Arndale Centre.

This year was my first year to the Manchester markets, and I absolutely loved them – you can’t beat the warm scent of mulled wine! I think the only thing that put me off a little is how busy they are. We went on Monday, and I was expecting it to be a little busy but it was absolutely packed. Every time I visit a city it makes me realise how much I wouldn’t be able to cope living there myself. I’m not the best with crowds and I love coming home to our quiet little village afterwards.

Liverpool Christmas Markets is one that we have not managed to visit as of yet. This is because they opened on Friday 17th November and we, unfortunately, had plans over the weekend and visited the city earlier on in the week for Christmas shopping. Hopefully, we will get the chance before they finish on the 22nd December.

They are all based at St George’s Plateau, along with the Windmill Bar and Grill and the German beer bar. When I visited last year, Nathan and I went along with my Dad and a few of his friends and we absolutely loved the German Beer Bar!

Well, they are my most local Christmas markets. Have you visited any yet? I’d love to hear! Let me know down below in the comments, or tweet me!

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London Bound

If you have been following my Instagram lately, you’ll know that last weekend I spent a night in London – along with my Brother, Nathan and of course, my Dad. We rose at 6am on Saturday morning to catch the 7:17am train from Chester straight through to London Euston. I am not one for mornings to say the least, I don’t think I’ve seen that time of the morning since I left my old job around 5/6 months ago. Lots of coffee was needed.

We arrived at London Euston at around 9:30am and started our little tourist-y section of the weekend. My brother has never been to London before and has wanted to go for a while. He absolutely loves trains and was excited to spend 2+ hours on the train up there. He was also excited to see what the London Underground was like, it’s safe to say he wasn’t a huge fan, but is glad that he has had the experience now. Anyway, first we headed to Madame Tussauds, as it made more sense to do this early as it would get busier in as the day went on. I booked our tickets online to save queuing when we arrived. They give you the option to collect your tickets on arrival or have them emailed to you so that you can just show the email containing the barcodes for entry. We walked from London Euston to Madame Tussauds as it was only a 20 minute walk and it probably would have took that long to actually get on the tube because it was so busy!

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I thoroughly enjoyed it, and so did my Brother and Nathan. My Dad found it a little boring, because he’s not really in to celebrities and things like that. But he plodded along, as he does. We then spent the rest of the day travelling to different sights in London, such as Big Ben, the London Eye, the Tower of London etc. We actually managed to get around a lot which we thought we may not have managed. But we did! All before 5pm, but we we’re absolutely knackered. We ended up heading back to our room and picking up a Chinese takeaway on the way. Where we pretty much all fell asleep by 9pm, I wish I’d have stayed awake and gone for a wander but I was obviously too tired.

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On the Sunday we headed down to Harrods, and Oxford Street before venturing to Camden. We got to Harrods around 10am, but it was shut until 11:30pm (with it being a Sunday). We ended up having a little nose around the street it was on, and then headed to Oxford St. I didn’t go into many shops in Oxford Street because I didn’t plan on spending any money, I mooched around Primark (and got lost) and we had a look around Selfridges but that was it really.

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We got the tube from Oxford Street straight to Camden which was absolutely packed. It was 10 times busier than when Nathan and I went last February. You literally couldn’t move, my brother was very anxious with everyone around him so my Dad chose not to take him into the market because it was even worse in their. They chose to have a wonder by the lock whilst Nathan and I went into the market. We ended up getting some food from one of the Thai food stalls and we really wanted to pig out and get pancakes too but got too distracted wandering around the stalls and forgot.

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By the time we came out of the market it was around 3pm and we decided to head back to Euston. But we decided to walk because it is only a 20 minute walk, instead of struggling with the tube.

On the train we got, pumpkin spiced latte in hand and we we’re home before we knew it. Overall we all had a really good time, the only downside was how busy it was. But what do you expect in the capital city?

 

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